Woman's ex-husband shows up at her work, chases her with gun, commits suicide
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KTVU) - Redwood City police are investigating a fatal shooting this afternoon. Investigators are saying an armed man at a business park threatened his ex-wife with a gun and then Redwood City police officers before shooting himself in an apparent suicide.
Police say the 44-year-old woman involved had a restraining order against the 43-year-old man that was good for seven days against him.
The man showed up to her place of employment at a business park in the area of Saginaw and Penobscot drives. Police received a call about the incident at about 2:15 p.m. and arrived about four minutes later.
Redwood City Deputy Chief Gary Kirby said at a news conference after the incident that they received a frantic 911 call from the woman who said her ex-husband was chasing her in the parking lot. According to the deputy, the woman said she arrived at work where she was met by her husband who allegedly said he wanted to talk.
The man made an abrupt stop in the parking lot with a pickup truck and attempted to make contact with the woman. The woman did not want to speak with the suspect. He then went back to his truck and grabbed what police believed was a handgun.
Police say the man then chased his ex-wife with the handgun throughout the parking lot. Deputy Kirby said a gunshot could be heard over the 911 call as the woman is giving a description of what the suspect is wearing. Meanwhile, dispatch was trying to get the woman to move to a safe spot.
Police said witnesses were simultaneously making 911 calls about the same incident.
Upon arrival, police said they secured the woman and that the suspect evaded police on foot. Police said they knew the woman had a restraining order against the man. A perimeter was set up and the sergeant had secured a rifleman who took position.
At one point, the man brandished the gun at officers, prompting an officer to fire a single shot. It was not immediately clear if the man was struck by the gunfire.
When officers tried to get the man to put down the gun, he did not comply and shot himself in the head, according to police.
Deputy Kirby did say that Redwood City police do have a history with the suspect over the last month.
"They knew he was an individual who was not of his right mindset," said Deputy Chief Kirby, describing the volatile situation for arriving officers.
Kirby credited the woman with providing good information in her frantic 911 call even as she ran for her life and tried to hide.
On March 9, the man was taken into custody for what was described as a "low-level domestic violence dispute". One day later, the suspect was said to have broken into his ex-wife's house while she was home.
"I saw officers at the house with their weapons drawn," neighbor Siddhartha Chib told KTVU, describing the March 10 incident. "Yeah, you don't usually see police with guns in their hands, so it was cause for alarm for sure," added Chib.
At that point, officers provided the woman with an emergency restraining order that was good for seven days. Deputy Kirby said the suspect's registered weapons were confiscated from him during a previous encounter.
Police said on March 14, the suspect violated the emergency restraining order, prompting the woman to seek an extension. The courts granted it to her with some overlap from the previous restraining order and it was said to be good until April 4.
The coroner and the San Mateo County District Attorneys' office are taking over the investigation of this case.